Monday, 26 April 2010

Ups and Downs of Nature

I think the last week has really demonstrated the power Mother Nature has over us.  For the last month and a half, the Eagle Watch team have been carefully keeping a beady eye over the nest of Skye and Frisa, alerted to any snap of a twig, hint of a motorised vehicle approaching, the whirr of a cyclist's wheel - all in an attempt to protect the nest from any disturbance either deliberate or otherwise.  They give up their free time, use their own vehicles, often travelling long distances, sit for hours in cold damp conditions - all for the same reason - that Skye and Frisa can safely hatch their eggs free from harm of man!  The one thing we cannot interfere with is the great Mother Nature.  Sadly she had other ideas.  The weather was awful to put it mildly - cold, hail stones, snow, gale force winds - you name it - the nest got if full blast.  How could a little chick survive that.  I keep wondering if there was anything I missed, anything I could have done differently but it all comes back to the same answer - you cant interfere with nature.  This year it just not meant to be.  There are another 9 pairs of white tailed eagles nesting on Mull - one of those, as expected, have not laid but fingers crossed we will have some good news on our other pairs.  Skye and Frisa - take this year off as parents - come back next year and try again - we will be waiting for you ready to watch over you again.

Mute Swan, Aros

There is a really flurry of activity at Loch Frisa - the sand martins are busy feeding as well as relining their burrows; a pair of pied and grey wagtails are busily building their nests at the back of the car park; our buzzard is sitting on two eggs at present  and we are lucky to have a camera on the nest with pictures beamed back to the hide; a couple of new visitors to the feeders - a lesser redpoll and a male reed bunting who is getting so fat will soon be unable to fly.

Lesser Redpoll, Loch Frisa

Friday, 23 April 2010

Sad News from Frisa

The weather has been so mixed recently ranging from warm sunny days to snow all within 24 hours. Sadly, this is possibly the reason our white tailed eagles at Loch Frisa, Skye and Frisa may have failed in their nesting attempt this year. They incubate for 38 days, carefully watched by our Mull Eagle Watch volunteers. At the weekend, a feed was seen at the nest but after than nothing. We fear the young chick died, probably from the extreme weather - the nest was in full blast of the cold northerly wind, snow and hail. At the moment, they are stil incubating a second egg - as time goes on, hope is fading. This pair usually hatch their chicks within one day of each other - it is now almost a week. We are hanging on by our finger tips - today has been non stop rain - what chance do they have?  This photo of Frisa our female was taken a couple of days before they settled down for the incubation process - it was as if she was enjoying her last days of freedom and making the most of the lovely weather we were enjoying at the time.   Today was the Daffodil Tea Party at school which was a welcome distraction.  Hannah performing her gymnastics display, lots of tea and cakes all raising money for MacMillan Nurses - a worthy cause.  This weekend will be spent at Loch Frisa with eyes glued to the nest hoping for any signs.  Will keep you posted.  Positive thoughts only please.

Monday, 12 April 2010

Get off - its mine!

Get off - its mine!
Originally uploaded by Wild Freckle
Well the eagles have some competition at Loch Frisa in the form of the siskins. They are regulars on our feeders but the antics keep the visitors entertained - they are really feisty wee birds. A goldfinch came and had a look at the feeder but they saw him off with a flea in his ear. The weather has been absolutely glorious for the last few days - really warm and beautiful blue skies. All of a sudden there are lots of butterflies about, peacocks and small tortoiseshells - willow warblers are back, singing their hearts out and the sand martins are back relining their burrows. Wont be long before we have some news of hatchings of the eagle variety. The Island is busy now with visitors enjoying the fine weather and all the wildlife we have to offer.